By H. L. D. Mahindapala –
Lenin once said that Bernard Shaw was a good man fallen among the Fabians – a group of wishy-washy left-wingers whose airy-fairy politics was neither in capitalism nor in any kind of scientific socialism. It was, at best, a shade of state welfarism within the capitalist framework. Prof. Laksiri Fernando (LF) is of the same ilk. I am not referring to his Trotskyite past when he was at Peradeniya university. I am referring to his current anti-Sinhala-Buddhist politics. He, of course, says that his intellectual affinities are with Buddhist philosophy. His objections, as I understand it, are to Sinhala-Buddhist politics which oppose the disproportionate demands manufactured in the thirties and forties by the two intransigent racist gang-leaders, Ponnambalam and Chelvanayakam.
The Sinhala-Buddhists, I am sure he will concede, have managed to resolve their differences to a great extent with the other two minorities, the Muslims and the Indian Tamils without resorting to excessive and intransigent violence. The main problem has been only with the rabid racists of the North who have been insisting relentlessly on their pound of flesh, irrespective of the consequences to the others. It is their bovine obstinacy that has militated against any peaceful co-existence with other communities. Their position is that peace can be achieved only on their terms. This is the fundamental flaw in any peace-making process, or reconciliation.
Being habitual whingers the Tamil political leadership have a consistent history of either rejecting the many offers given to them as solutions to their demands, even with international guarantees, or kept on expanding the political goal posts for them to kick as many goals as the want without any restrictions. This is what LF, the the kalatipol scientist, refuses to see. To be most charitable, I could only say that LF is a good man who has fallen into the dustbin of anti-Sinhala-Buddhist garbage. For piling up the same kind of garbage found in the Tambiah-Seneviratne school of anti-Sinhala-Buddhist muck-rakers he can also be classified as an academic “Meetota-mullah”. This kind of academic refuses to see the rubbish they pile up until it crashes on their heads. This is common among the academic “Meetota-mullahs” who think that they are the avant-garde of progressive and lofty thinking when in reality they are sinking in the rubbish dug up initially by Ponnambalam in the thirties and left for Tambiahs, Seneviratnes and Fernandos to build up academic careers on the corpses left behind in the wake of the racist politics of Ponnambalam.
In this article, I shall deal only with his fanciful notion of the Sangha running a state within state. Out of the blue he suddenly, sus-gala, sees the Sangha running a state within state. The Sangha is doing what it has been doing throughout its history and for him not to have noticed this, a kalatipol scientist, he must have migrated, not to Sydney but to a planet near the black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. However, as a political scientist he has an ethical and academic duty to rise above his anti-Sinhala-Buddhist politics and consider the consequences left behind by the non-Sangha activists who have intervened aggressively in obstructing and even reversing state policies. These interventionists have wielded more power in the state than the Sangha and I have not heard a peep coming out of him questioning their unwanted and destructive roles.
I shall select only three instances to test the validity of his argument :
Case 1: When the anti-conversion bill was presented the American government of Bush, a committed Evangelist, forced his will on Chandrika Bandaranaike’s government to reject it. The American Ambassador delivered the message of evangelist Bush bluntly to the media. Hey presto, the magic worked and the bill was shelved. Now which state was running CBK’s state?
Case 2: Whenever the Muslims feels that they are threatened they round up all the diplomats of Muslim states stationed in Colombo and put maximum pressure on the Sri Lankan state to rein in. Now can Professori Fernando name the outsiders who are stepping in to run the Sri Lankan state? Here I’m not being judgmental on the Muslims and their political reactions. I’m only focussing on the role of other states interfering in the domestic affairs of Sri Lanka – something which they would resent and even retaliate against if it happens to them.
Case 3: Worst of all, according to the Maha Sangha the NGOs are physically present at government proceedings influencing/directing policy on constitutional changes. No one has heard a whimper from Fernando on this intervention by hired agents of foreign powers using NGO apparatchiks as “the soft power” to push their foreign policies.
But he has come out firing on all four cylinders against the Sangha, the traditional guardians of the nation who have sacrificed their lives at times, to serve the people. Of the two who has the legitimate right, to intervene on a critical issue like the making of constitution? If, as pointed above, foreigners and agents of foreigners are given the silent nod by Fernando why is it wrong for the Sangha to do their bit in opposing foreigners with their anti-national and anti-Sinhala-Buddhist agenda?
He is contesting the legitimacy of the Sangha which laid the foundations for this nation. The Sangha also can be considered as a vital part of the home grown civil society unlike the foreign-funded NGOs who represent foreign governments. If they can’t raise their voices in critical national affairs who else can? But the overwhelming trend in the post-Ponnambalam /Chelvanayakam period has been to delegitimise the Sangha on the spurious argument that their place is in the caves. The entire political thrust of these kalatipol scientists and historians is aimed relentlessly at debilitating – and if possible eliminating — the power of the Sangha and strengthening the power of the anti-national forces as a means of imposing their political agenda on the nation. This line of action is pursued on the bogus assumption that it is the anti-Sinhala-Buddhist NGOs, academics, diplomats, paid hacks of the UN, and other interventionists who have the answer to the issues threatening national security, peace and prosperity.
The Sangha is very clear in its mission. The Sangha says categorically that it opposes the militant rhetoric and activities of the Bodu Bala Sena. But it is urging the government to look into the grievances expressed by the Bodu Bala Sena. It has also expressed opposition to the current moves of the government to change the constitution which seems to be a Sisyphean process : each time the constitution is rolled up the mountain to the top it comes down and the constitution-makers have to do it all over again. This futile process is done not because the people are yearning for new constitutions as if it is some dirty underwear which needs changing every day but to satisfy the insatiable political appetites of one intransigent minority which continues to pursue the phantasmagorial nightmares of breaking up the nation. The argument for and against this political ambition has been tireless and inexhaustible. But I would like to ask Fernando one question : can he name one significant solution that has been worked out by the NGO pundits and their likes for the national crisis since the Tamil leadership declared war against the nation at Batakotte (Vadukoddai) in 1976? Where has their interventions led the nation, except, of course, to Nandikadal?
Every peace-maker providing solutions – Rajiv Gandhi, President Premadasa, Neelan Tiruchelvam, etc – was killed. The more they killed the more the NGO, INGOs and other academic and foreign interventionists clamoured for more concessions. Most of those concessions were given with international guarantees because the “Sinhala governments” were said to be unreliable. What happened? All their bogus theories sank in the murky waters of Nandikadal.
Isn’t it time for Fernando to take a running dive into the cold waters Nandikadal which may – I hope – help him to regain some common sense which is invariably uncommon among his kind?
Anpu / July 11, 2017
full of lies and twisted stories
Fisherman from Moratuwa / July 11, 2017
[Edited out]As HDM says, he used to pose as a Trotskyite at Peradeniya. But he did not have any commitment to show for it. Like so many commentators on reconciliation (Jehan Perera, Granville Perera etc) these people want to use the Tamil issue as a question of Catholicism. Anton Balasingham and Prabhakaran were both Tamil Catholics, but their identity was carefully hidde. But the Tamils knew and that is why Prabhakaran never had ‘full’ Tamil support.[Edited out]
nimal fernando / July 11, 2017
Mr H. L. D. Mahindapala,
“The Sangha is doing what it has been doing throughout its history”
Well said. It has to be one or the other.
As the people can’t exercise their democratic franchise to elect the Sangha. Let’s do away with electing governments and associated wastage of 5-yearly elections and let the Sangha run the country. After all they have all the experience “doing what it has been doing throughout its history.”
You’ll be happy, I’ll be happy. The whole country will be happy.
It’s such a simple thang. What is there to argue about? And write volumes about?
But there is one small thang! Like the good ol’ Frenchman said, “with actions comes responsibility.” Do the Sangha take responsibility for the state of the country today? Good or bad? …………. Just asking ……………….
——————— The only patriot still standing, writing from the last refuge.
Real Siva Sankaran Sharma / July 12, 2017
Anton Bal;asingham was a Catholic Prapakaran was a Hindu and not a Catholic. He belonged to a very strict Hindu family that had built many Hindu temples and male members of his family were custodians of their family temple in Velvetturrai. Prapakaran was very secular and he never wanted to divide the Tamils on the basis of religion. This story that he was a Catholic was deliberately spread by the Sri Lankan government and Indian authorities, largely for consumption for the Indian Hindu population to whom religion is an issue. They spread the lie that the LTTE is Christian and want to create a Christian Tamil state. Sri Lankan Tamils tend to be far more secular and did not care two hoots whether he was a Catholic or Hindu. If religion was an issue, Protestant Christian Chelvanayagam would never have been elected by the more than 80% Hindu Sri Lankan Tamil people as their leader. Caste extremist tried to use religion as an issue in the more than 99% Hindu electorate of Tellipallai to win the seat and defeat Chelvanayagam but he failed miserably.
sach / July 12, 2017
Because your anti Sinhala rhetoric was very very pleasing to the tamils more than any religion and caste issues.
Dalit / July 18, 2017
In 1958 fishermen from Moratuwa were among the Sinhalese massacred in Jaffna.That was the start of recent genocide of the Sinhalese.
Annesley Dias / July 11, 2017
Now Nandikadal is fully dried up severe drought. Full of BS and diabolical lies.!
sach / July 11, 2017
Good one. The NGOs have an unhealthy influence on the matters of the country and has dangerously built contacts to the high levels of the administration. People like Jehan P and Pakia sothy made a career out of the dollars and kroners the white man threw to these NGOs.
The so called consultative task force initiated by the stupidest PM in the world made a report asking SL government to apologise from LTTE members and pay compensation. One might think Pakia was drunk when writing it. However the NGO guys took the report to geneva and introduced that piece of paper called ‘consultation task force on reconciliation mechanisms’ without government permission.
It is high time these foreign funded pro ltte anti SL forces are kicked out from SL
Burning Issue / July 11, 2017
First you do not even have the intellect to comprehend Dr LF’s articles let alone making a judgement on them! You are a public bigot unparalleled by no one; your personal antipathy and hatred towards the Tamils is well documented. Your unscrupulous attempts to belittle anything Tamil is being welcomed by the likes of such, Soma, Sumana, Hela at el. Please keep going as you need something to tick on. we need your type of entertainments to expose the nature of the Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism!
sach / July 11, 2017
I think Mahindapala with his talent to write has been able to uncover many bigots and idiots who hid behind so called ‘Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism’..And it is a great enjoyment to see such people being tormented by him.
Native Vedda / July 11, 2017
HLD M desperately needs a padikkam spittoon carrier. Anyone with relevant qualifications should apply directly to him. The vacancy for b**s carrier has already been filled on a job share basis between SSS and each.
soma / July 11, 2017
I am the only Sinhalese on this column who supports a separate homeland in the North and East for all Tamil speaking people in Sri Lanka for which you have castigated me as a racist. Is being anti racist racist?————
Burning Issue / July 11, 2017
Please; you think that you are claver but in reality you are totally insidious to the core. You mask your blatant racism by you claiming to support separatism ostensibly! I am sure that your counterparts within the Tamil community will welcome your stand but you do not really mean that, do you? This is what marks you out as far more dangerous than the likes of such and sumana at el!
Native Vedda / July 11, 2017
Burning Issue—-I am sorry did you say his cultured Tamil wife through out her married life faked or****m because of the bad vibes he generated and he continued to suffer from pe**s envy? That’s too bad.
soma / July 12, 2017
I must emphasise that my support for a Tamil Homeland is conditional in that 90% of Tamil speaking people living OUTSIDE North and East must necessarily be willing for a separate Tamil Homeland. A referendum among these Tamil speaking people is necessary for this purpose. The present proposals seem to cover only Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North excluding those who practise Islam, those in Colombo and those arrived during the British (which I call the Holiday Resort Model). I encourage unity among all Tamil speaking people in the island abandoning their differences in caste, religion and date of arrival. TNA I believe must run a campaign encouraging Tamils (Tamil speaking people) living outside to move towards the North. We can move forward depending on the success of that effort. On my part the moment I observe SLIGHTEST tendency in this direction I will be out on the street shouting your right to live in a separate Homeland.Things Take Time(TTT) .Thanks.
Burning Issue / July 12, 2017
Brilliantly done; I do not need to write in support of my assessment of you! You may qualify for a Smart Patriot if DJ allows it!
“I will be out on the street shouting your right to live in a separate Homeland.”
You will be out on the street anyway because of your ingrained fear that SL may accommodate a solution involving a form of power devolution for North & East. This is enough to keep you awake at nights!
soma / July 13, 2017
My fear is not devolving power to North and East, but leaving +50% Tamils (Tamil speaking people) out of it. You demand Tamil Homeland AND the right to live anywere ; I insist Tamil Homeland OR the right to live anywhere. My appeal to the Tamils is let’s live in one country with the right to live anywhere. ———
timbuttu / July 13, 2017
My appeal to the Tamils is let’s live in one country with the right to live anywhere. ———
Soma why this new love hilaw from southern rilawas?
not by confiscating homes with the gun and displacing. Till the troubles the sinhalese never went to north except for pan mama. so why now??
Never bend down to tie a shoelace while walking in another’s pumpkin patch.
Native Vedda / July 13, 2017
somass ji — Are you being smart here in this forum? Please first get the consent of the saffronistas in writing for a fully fledged federal state and get agreement among yourselves, ie the Sinhala/Buddhist noisy bigoted minority for such power sharing arrangement then you should fear about rest of your usual paranoia induced worries. I am the only one in this forum willing to carve out a ghetto for the noisy Sinhala/Buddhist minority. I will be the last hope for the Sinhal/Buddhist bigoted noisy minority.
soma / July 14, 2017
“Federal ” or “Power Sharing” is anathema to me. I am proposing ” A separate Tamil Homeland for all Tamil speaking people scattered across the island irrespective of their religion or the date of arrival” as I have explained clearly in my comments above. “Federal” is a hoax to leave +50% Tamils(Tamil speaking people) in areas OUTSIDE North and East. Either it is Homeland or no Homeland – not anything in between. ——–
Anpu / July 11, 2017
You wrote a twisted story about ponnambalams.
Real story of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam
Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam was the Founder of the Ceylon National Congress in 1919. However, within two years of the formation—– he was a disappointed man—. He formed the Ceylon Tamil League in 1922 of which also he was the Founder-President.
His speech …
Anpu / July 11, 2017
I offer a hearty welcome to the members of be Ceylon Tamil League in General Meeting assembled today. This is the second General Meeting since its inauguration. I am glad also to see many members of the general public . From the proceedings today they will be in a position to judge the work the League has so far done and of its aims, and of the claims it has upon the public confidence.
There is no need for me to speak at length, as the Committee’s Report sets forth fully the League’s work and aims and ideals. The League was brought into existence by political necessity, but politics is not its raison-detre.
It has far higher aims in view, namely to keep alive and propagate these precious ideals throughout Ceylon, Southern India and the Tamil Colonies, to promote the union and solidarity of Tamilakam, the Tamil Land.
We should keep alive and propagate these ideals throughout Ceylon and promote the union and solidarity of what we have been proud to call Tamil Eelam.
We desire to preserve our individuality as a people, make ourselves worthy of our inheritance…We are not enamoured of that Cosmopolitanism which would make of as neither fish, fowl, nor red herring.
That does not mean that we are to be selfish and work only for the interests of the Tamil Community. Who have done more for the welfare of all Ceylon than the Tamil? Who has fought more vigorously for the welfare of the Sinhalese in the “Dark days of 1915” when our Sinhalese brethren were in distress and helpless ? Who came to their rescue but the Tamils? That statue which was to be the grateful memorial of the help rendered, may (as proposed in some quarters) be flung into the sea.
Tsylana / July 13, 2017
“”of what we have been proud to call Tamil Eelam.””
Tamil `Eelam`- was unscrupulously added by TGTE the salaried commissioner’s son?
Crusader SJVC bought a boat load of `race` in his sarema from malaysia like SWRD from oxford.
Anpu / July 11, 2017
But the Tamils are not going to abandon the proud duty and privilege of service to all our brothers of every race and creed .
But we do object strongly to being bullied or terrorised, we object to being the underdogs of anybody. We mean to make ourselves strong and also to work for the common good. The Europeans with all the power and prestige, with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Planters Association, European Ceylon Association feel the necessity of improving their organisation. Much more should we. We cannot any longer afford to be apathetic.
The Jaffna Association and the Tamil Maha Jana Sabha have done most useful work in the Northern Province. There are small Tamil Associations scattered over the Island and admirably fitted to promote local patriotism and watch over local interests.
With all these it will be our aim to work in friendly and hearty co operation. We wish also to co-operate with every other Community in the Island – European, Burgher, Sinhalese, Mohammedan and Indian. We believe that such co-operation is the best and shortest to our political advancement.
In order to further the objects of the League we shall work for the establishment of a daily paper in Colombo – a vital necessity. The Committee’s proposal with regard to this will be laid before you. We shall also work to establish an Agency in London and a Club in Colombo.
All this requires heavy outlay of money for which I trust the Tamil Community, and especially its wealthier members here and in the Federated Malay States, will contribute liberally. But it requires also enthusiasm, perseverance, united effort and these I believe will not be wanting. May God bless and prosper our efforts.”
Eagle Eye / July 11, 2017
Excellent response to Prof. Laksiri Fernando who has joined the Evangelical Church led band wagon of Buddhist bashing.
In Sri Lanka reconciliation means ‘Sinhala Buddhists Bloody Well Keep Your Mouth Shut’
sach / July 11, 2017
And I guess after the NGO revolution , yahapalana kolama they did learn the lesson , sinhala buddhists will not keep quiet and lie low allowing the NGOs and anti SL actors to rule SL.
MirakRajBanda / July 11, 2017
Anagaragica Darmapla is the biggest racist or in another word father of racism in Sri Lanka, paved ways to D.S. Senanayak, S.W.Banadnayak, J.R. Jayawardena to Manida/Gota Rajapaksa, Champika, Gammanpllai, Wimal, Dinesh and the latest edition of Galbada Gnanasara.
Chelvanyagam is the by product of Annagarika’s racist and chauvinistic ideology.
Why won’t you write about his racist incitement as well?
‘Sri’ was not a distant past for many and diplomatically Premadasa solved it with a ”-”.
sach / July 11, 2017
Lasantha Pethiyagoda / July 11, 2017
I have a sneaking suspicion that the writer is on contract by another critic of Laksiri Fernando, who writes too academically to be able to muster enough blather as HLD does quite glibly. On the other hand it could also be an outlet to relieve boredom and old-age related stagnation. In the absence of praise, even criticism is welcome in such depressed states.
Had Enough / July 12, 2017
Isn’t it tragic that these champions of America style democracy and equal rights are dead against giving the opposite opinion ay opportunity of expression? They charge that all opposite opinion is paid for by hidden hands while only their opinion is pure! Hypocrites of the worst kind. We have the same suspicion that YOU could be on the pay role of the Evangelical Christian movement and the devil worshiping Muslims at the core of attacks on Buddhist monks. Remember Sri Lankans have seen Western beggars like you before! You are just a noisy minority paid by the CIA funded Evangelicals.
Non PhD / July 11, 2017
1. Your story is like that of Go Ra telling he is not involved and does not know on whose order the armed forces cut and solf the KKS Cement factory Iron.
2. How come you left out the fact how MaRa threatened the Mahanayakes when he was president from 2010 to 2015. Please read Ranga Jyasooriya’s column in today’s DM.
3. The way your bracket DJ and you write , any child can discern both your claims that both of you practices real Buddhism is the biggest joke of the year.
4. You are trying to divide the minorities of different groups with your cunning creative writting. According to Buddhism it will back fire.
K.Pillai / July 11, 2017
H. L. D. Mahindapala’s question: “Has Prof. Laksiri Fernando A Leg To Stand On?”
Know ye HLD M. Prof Laksiri Fernando stands on sincerity.
You have false legs embedded in fake history. You draw your strength from illiterates who are easily mislead.
Your question is imbecilic HLD M.
PS: Message to Laksiri through CT- Please do not respond to this man. He will misquote you in future sermons.
Sri-Krish / July 11, 2017
If Sangha has a right to engage in politics,they have to face the consequences, others too have a right to disagree and denounce
Rajash / July 12, 2017
another legless article by the racist HLDM
Harishchandra / July 12, 2017
Dr: Laksiri Fernando writes with his head above his shoulders unlike some who have their heads between their legs.
Native Vedda / July 13, 2017
Harichandta– Did you mean HLD M whom you thought had his head between his legs when he typed? I suggest that he should pull his head out of wherever it is now before he starts typing.
Spring Koha / July 13, 2017
A big Thank You to the incontinent mad mullah of the antipodes for this regular dollop of horse shit. My rose bushes flourish!
WE should all be grateful to our old colonial mastah for opening up the great outback so that our retired master of the Lake House spittoon can spend his last days in splendid isolation, and thankfully far, far away from this blessed land.